Coffee grinding is an art that’s also treated as a science. But who has the time to be a scientist? If you don’t want to learn how to grind coffee or simply want to avoid the mess of brewing a regular cup, you will be delighted to know that you can make coffee from whole beans.
Coffee beans are better than ground coffee because they remain fresh longer. If you use the beans to make coffee without grinding, you will get a beverage that is less bitter, less acidic, has a more complicated flavor profile, leaves behind less to clean up, and is fresh.
In this article, you will learn more about each of the eight reasons coffee beans are better than grounds, including why:
- Whole bean coffee is not as bitter
- There are fewer acidic oils in whole bean coffee
- Whole bean coffee helps you reduce sugar intake
- You can buy coffee beans in bulk
- You don’t need a filter for whole bean coffee
- Whole bean brewing is easier to clean up
- It is less expensive to make coffee from whole beans
- Coffee beans can make coffee with less caffeine
Whole Bean Coffee Is Less Bitter
When we think of coffee, we often think about bitterness. This connotation is a result of the standard way of brewing coffee: using coffee grounds. When coffee beans are ground, their surface area increases by up to 60 times.
This allows the coffee to be prepared within minutes instead of taking hours. However, it also releases oils that overwhelm coffee’s subtle flavor and flood the taste profile of the beverage with bitterness.
Fortunately, this bitterness is an acquired taste that coffee connoisseurs actively pursue. Initially, it tastes bad, but the positive feeling of a caffeine kick gets associated with bitterness. Nowadays, coffee-flavored desserts are made to have a pronounced bitter flavor. But not every coffee lover likes the bitter aspects of the beverage.
As a rule of thumb, the thicker the grind level, the less the surface area, and the fewer the bitter coffee oils in the beverage. The finer the grounds, the more coffee oils escape into the final product, making it more bitter (and antioxidant-rich). Taking this to its logical conclusion, one derives that the whole bean is the coarsest version, which makes it the least bitter source of brewed coffee.
Whole Bean Coffee Is the Least Acidic Coffee
Coffee can sometimes cause heartburn, but that’s not always the case. Whether a regular cup of coffee leads to acid reflux in someone depends on their gut chemistry. If your gut does not have enough acid-conducive pH, even a slight intake of acidic contents like orange juice or coffee can lead to heartburn and hot burps.
The good news is that you don’t have to give up coffee just because standard-ground coffee results in an acidic reaction. You simply need to go to an extreme ‘coarseness’ and choose whole bean coffee. If you experience heartburn after having coffee, your stomach already has an acidic environment.
To offset this unnatural amount of acidity, you can produce an unnaturally basic coffee. Basic, here, refers to the opposite of acidic. Whole bean coffee is the closest a pure coffee beverage can come to a basic beverage. Even though its pH still leans towards acidic, its overall acidity is too low even for sensitive stomachs to notice.
Whole Bean Coffee Is Good for Weight Loss
While ground coffee’s high caffeine dose can speed up your metabolism, research has proven that coffee doesn’t burn enough calories to offset the number of calories added by sugar. Whole bean coffee helps you lose weight by raising your metabolic activity with caffeine while requiring less sugar. This is because whole bean coffee is sweeter than coarse-ground or fine-ground coffee.
Of course, it isn’t sweet to a neutral palate. But it still has enough sweetness to require little sugar. You can further enhance this advantage by using Stevia, which has almost zero calories, making it 60 times less fattening than equivalent sugar.
Whole Bean Coffee Stays Fresh Longer
Another advantage of getting whole bean coffee is that you don’t have to worry as much about the coffee getting stale. While roasted beans also lose their flavor over time, they take up to 50 times longer before getting as stale. This means that a practical consumer has a higher chance of using the last batch of fresh whole beans than he has of using the last batch of coffee grounds fresh.
By the time an average consumer reaches the bottom of a package of coffee grounds, they have lost their freshness even if they haven’t gone bad. But with coffee grounds, the rate at which the potency and flavor are lost is much slower.
That said, one can attribute this advantage to coffee grounds as well. If one stores whole beans and grinds coffee in small batches, its freshness can be preserved for a longer period as well. However, grinding a cup’s worth of coffee before brewing is far more impractical.
So even if one grinds one week’s worth of coffee beans at once, they will not be as fresh on the seventh day. Whole beans still win against grounds, even when the grinding is done in smaller batches.
Whole Bean Coffee is Easier to Clean Up
One of the negative aspects of making your own coffee is that you have to clean up the mess left behind by the process. Coffee grounds need to be removed from the espresso maker or the coffee machine. They can also spill over when pouring into the coffee machine or drip-maker. The finer the grounds, the harder they are to clean up.
Even with filter coffee, you need plenty of filters, and with reusable filters, you have to clean up the grounds. Whole bean coffee also leaves behind stuff to clean up, but the clean-up is much easier. You do not even need a filter. As long as there is a container that can hold the beans while giving them access to hot water, you can make your coffee without having to clean up tiny specs.
Whole bean coffee is even better for novice coffee makers because coffee grounds are among the top causes of clogged sinks and drains. You cannot pour coffee grounds down a narrow drain or a plughole as they can clog the plumbing. Whole beans are impossible to shove down a small drain, so they get disposed of the right way.
Whole Bean Coffee Can Have Low Caffeine
You can stop the brewing process at any point, depending on how much caffeine you want in your coffee. When brewing coffee from coffee grounds, you don’t have as much say in the amount of caffeine in the final product, here’s why:
The amount of caffeine derived in one second of brewing with grounds is higher than the amount extracted in one minute of brewing whole beans. Because the brewing process is much slower, you can stop brewing thirty minutes into the process and get coffee that is half as strong as a regular cup.
Whole Bean Coffee Is Cheaper Than Ground Coffee
Coffee beans are superior because you don’t need much of an apparatus to make coffee with them. A jar and a pot alongside a stove are all you need. And most of these are already present in an average household. As a result, making coffee from whole beans is a lot less expensive.
However, this difference is nominal if you already own a coffee grinder and an espresso maker. The only other expense that whole beans circumvent is the cost of coffee filters. These are used in very specific coffee brewing methods. This advantage mainly applies to someone who doesn’t have an espresso maker or an individual who uses a coffee brewing method that requires fresh filters.
Subtle Elements of Coffee’s Flavor Get to Shine With Whole Beans
Finally, the greatest advantage of coffee beans that aren’t ground is that they allow you to brew coffee that is defined by its mellow aspects. You don’t have to have your senses overpowered by bitterness.
The sweeter, barely detectable aspects of the coffee flavor shine when one uses coffee beans instead of coffee grounds. To get similar coffee with grounds, you would need to cut the brewing process too short to be practical.
Still, coarse coffee brewed at a mild temperature and cold brew can produce a similarly mellow coffee beverage. While coffee beans are not the only brewing source that produces such coffee, they are definitely better than ground coffee in this aspect.
Coffee beans are better than coffee grounds if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t want to over consume caffeine or have a natural tendency to have heartburn. They’re also better for storage and can save you a non-nominal sum of money if you don’t own an espresso maker.